Mallorca, a ‘cage’ for more than 20,000 tourists in ‘shock’

The airport fills up with foreigners looking for a flight: “We are in limbo”

Tourists with masks in the departure terminal of the airport of ...

Tourists with masks in the departure terminal of Palma airport.
AtienzaEFE

I work with refugees and have lived through epidemics inAfrica. But this is something else. I have not seen anything like it. We are all in limbo without knowing what to do.Hade, fromGermany, he was going to spend his 60th birthday inMajorca. I landed last Tuesday with a sunny week ahead and eager to rest. 24 hours later it was another story, the German explained yesterday to this newspaper at the airport inPalm.

The climate of tension and uncertainty caused by the new coronavirus invaded the entire island. And it also frustrated the holidays of the approximately 25,000 tourists who were estimated to have been inBalearics. They canceled my return flight and I had to buy another one. The travel agency warned me that there is the possibility of being confined at the airport if they closed the air space. Hotels no longer receive reservations and this Saturday they will all be closed. Me and many foreigners were very nervous. We didn’t know what was going to happen and we wanted to go home, Hade added shortly before entering the departure lounge.

Last Monday 62 flights were canceled at Palma airports,IbizaYMahn. Yesterday the screens with the flight information revealed a similar situation. Hundreds of foreigners sat waiting whether their plane would leave or not. Around one o’clock in the afternoon the president of the Balearic Government,Francina Armengol, the ministerial order on the practically total closure of ports and airports advanced. Balearic Islands, confined by air and sea.

Adrin, fromBarcelona, it was wave that this was going to happen. Yesterday I was walking uneasily through the departure terminal ofThey are Sant Joanwaiting to get on his plane. I landed in Mallorca on Monday to start a new job as an administrative officer and in less than 24 hours I was back at the airport. I thought they could close the air space and I have no suitcase because yesterday they lost it. I am without clothes and there are no stores open. If by quarantine I already felt locked up, imagine yourself on an island, the Catalan confessed.

The same fear passedSchmidt, a German couple who bought up to three flights to ensure a return home. Yesterday they arrived at the airport well in advance. Hours and hours of waiting with no coffeemakers to go to. Only a few vending machines.Kevin Winsterand two friends return at last toUnited Kingdomafter spending two days in quarantine in an apartment in Mallorca. They did it on an emergency flight from the Easyjet airline after learning that the plane they had planned to take would not leave.

“Overwhelmed”

Most of the people who walked through the airport left, only a few arrived despite the fact that after leaving it would be a difficult task. I could have stayed inNetherlands, but I live here. I know it won’t be easy, confessed Jun Jer, a Dutchman who had just arrived from a cruise shipBarbados.

A similar tension climate was breathed among the aerodrome workers. Civil guards and Aena employees walked through Son Sant Joan practically without any protective material against COVID-19. Only a few had gloves. The masks, the most privileged. The situation is much worse than I thought. We are totally overwhelmed. For having, we have nothing, declared a worker ofAenawho preferred to remain anonymous.

An employee of the TUI tour operator entered the airport pharmacy looking for that asset so precious to many in full alarm. Protect your mouth with a scarf. We have been without masks since Saturday, he confessedMalek, an airport pharmacist. When the state of alarm became official this was chaotic. Many people came in asking for masks and gloves, but we didn’t even have alcohol. I have a hard time with people. My job is to give a remedy, and I can’t. The same powerlessness was felt by an Aena worker who offers information to tourists. I keep receiving calls from nervous people asking if they are going to cancel their flight or if their daughter can return home. Neither I nor anyone else can do anything.

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